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Aleko Lilius vs The Manila Railroad Company

SYLLABUS
1. NEGLIGENCE; RAILROAD COMPANY; DAMAGES. A railroad company which does not
install a semaphore at a crossing and does not see to it that its flagman and switchman
faithfully complies with his duty of remaining at the crossing when a train arrives, is guilty of
negligence and is civilly liable for damages suffered by a motorist and his family who cross
its line without negligence on their part.
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; AMOUNT OF DAMAGES. An indemnity of P10,000 for a permanent deformity
on the face and left leg, suffered by a young and beautiful society woman, is not excessive.
3. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID. an indemnity of P5,000 for a permanent deformity on the face and legs
of a four-year old girl belonging to a well-to-do family, is not excessive.
4. ID.; ID.; ID.; PROOF OF DAMAGES. In order that a husband may recover damages for
deprivation of his wifes assistance during her illness from an accident, it is necessary for
him to prove the existence of such assistance and his wifes willingness to continue
rendering the same had she not been prevented from so doing by her illness.
Facts:
Aleko Lilius, a well known journalist, his wife Sonja Maria Lilius and daughter Brita Marianne
Lilius were bound to Pagsanjan via Dayap when they met an accident with the one of the
trains of the Manila Railroad Company. As a result of the said accident, the Liliuses suffered
several injuries. The family then filed a complaint against Manila Railroad Company alleging
that the accident was caused by the latters negligence. Prior to the accident, there had
been neither notice nor sign of the existence of the crossing in Dayap, nor was there
anybody to warn the public of approaching trains. The flagman or switchman arrived after
the collision, coming from the station with a red flag in one hand and a green one in the
other, both of which were wound on their respective sticks. In its answer, Manila Railroad
claimed that Aleko, with the help of his wife, negligently and recklessly drove his car and
prayed that it be absolved from the suit. The trial court ordered Manila Railroad Company to
pay the Liliuses. Hence, this petition.
Issue: WON Manila Railroad Company is guilty of negligence.
Ruling:
Yes, the SC held that the accident was due to Manila Railroads negligence for not having a
semaphore or a sign at the crossing at Dayap, to serve as a warning to passers-by of its
existence in order that they might take the necessary precautions before crossing the
railroad and for its failure to exercise the diligence of a good father of a family in the
supervision of its employees in the discharge of their duties.
The SC also stated that the diligence of a good father of a family, which the law requires in
order to avoid damage, is not confined to the careful and prudent selection of subordinates
or employees but includes inspection of their work and supervision of the discharge of their
duties.